Nature’s Anti-Agers

To maintain healthy, youthful skin, you need to ensure that your skin has enough antioxidants to protect itself. Because skin is fed by the blood, antioxidants can be delivered through eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies. You can also prepare your skin for sunny days with a steady diet of skin-protective vitamins and nutrients. Studies show that lycopene, found in tomatoes and watermelon, helps to protect against sun damage. Chill in the shade with a glass of iced green tea—a rich source of antioxidants that protect against UVB-induced stress and UVB-induced free radicals. Also consider taking fish oil supplements for the photoprotective benefits of omega-3 fats EPA and DHA for your skin. Omegas are also naturally found in nuts and seeds. Cover Up Overexposure to sunlight can cause premature skin aging and skin cancer—so be judicious about exposure. When choosing sun protection, remember that sunblocks are the only effective form of sunscreen against skin-aging UVA rays; they usually contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sunscreens use chemical agents that absorb burning UVB rays. Choose sun-protection creams containing well-known antioxidants such as vitamin E to protect against UVB radiation, promote healthy skin, and help reverse signs of skin photo-aging. Vitamin C applied topically has proven to protect against sunburn, limit sun-induced DNA damage, and speed healing of sunburned skin. It’s also useful in reducing wrinkling caused by UVB rays. An ingredient in green tea EGCG is also useful; it protects against UVA radiation. Keep Eyes Looking Youthful Diet plays an important role in the appearance of your eyes. “The skin around the eyes shows the condition of our kidneys,” says Christina Pirello, MS, author of Glow. “Diet directly impacts the kidneys, and eating saturated animal fats and refined sugars makes the kidneys work harder than they should,” she says. Consuming foods that support the digestive system and other organs will help make skin glow this summer. Dark, leafy greens—high in folate, vitamin C, and trace minerals—along with shiitake mushrooms and astringent, sour foods, like lemon and grapefruit, support the internal organs whose health is reflected in the eyes. Moisturizing Foods & Supplements Strengthen your beauty from the inside out by eating right and supplementing your diet. “Vitamin A is the number-one wrinkle fighter,” says Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Living Beauty Detox Program. Obtain this vitamin by supplementing with fish oils or be eating cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy green veggies, peaches, papaya, mango, and apricots.